Veteran prosecutor Robert Capers was nominated Thursday by President Barack Obama to head the U.S. attorney's office for the Eastern District of New York.

If confirmed by the Senate, Capers, 44, will oversee criminal prosecutions, investigations and civil cases in the district, which covers Suffolk and Nassau counties, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.

Obama picked Capers and five other candidates to head U.S. attorneys' offices elsewhere.

"Through their dedication and accomplishments, these fine attorneys have distinguished themselves as some of the best and brightest their profession has to offer," Obama said in a statement. " . . . I know that they will faithfully and tirelessly pursue justice on behalf of the American people."

Capers would fill the post previously held by Loretta Lynch, now U.S. attorney general. Capers and a spokeswoman for the Brooklyn-based Eastern District declined to comment.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who recommended Capers in May, described him then as "really smart, hardworking, nose to the grindstone; not flashy, but gets the job done superbly."

Schumer noted that Capers, who is black, and whose father and brother were NYPD officers, "understands the delicate balance between protecting the community from the threat of crime and protecting the civil rights of the people in the community."

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Capers has been a prosecutor in the district since 2003, recently leading the team that prosecuted former Brooklyn Assemb. William Boyland on corruption charges, resulting in convictions.

In the office, Capers has been senior litigation counsel in the Public Integrity Section and chief of the Narcotics Section and International Narcotics Strike Force, according to the White House.

On assignment in Washington several years ago, he served as deputy chief of the Narcotics and Dangerous Drug Section of the Department of Justice.

Born in the Bronx, Capers graduated from New York University, where he co-captained the basketball team, and Albany Law School.

Before joining the U.S. attorney's office, he was a prosecutor with the Office of Special Narcotics for New York City and the New York County district attorney's office.

@Newsday

Capers will begin heading the office on an interim basis on Oct. 19, Lynch said in a statement.